Working on sustainability is particularly important for cosmetics businesses because consumers are most inclined to look for good ethical policies in intimate and everyday products. Figures on environmental progress In its 2007 Sustainability Report, published this week, L'Oreal said it had reduced carbon dioxide emissions from factories and warehouses by 7 per cent per finished product last year. Per finished product, L'Oreal also cut energy use by 4 per cent, water use by 6.8 per cent, sulfur dioxide emissions by 25 per cent and VOC emissions by 6 per cent. The world's largest cosmetics company said its commitment to the environment is demonstrated by its signing of the Bali Communiqué to world leaders, which calls for a comprehensive legally binding UN framework on climate change. Looking through the supply chain It also joined the Carbon Disclosure Project's Supply Chain Leadership Collaboration to encourage supplier disclosure on carbon emissions. Again in conjunction with suppliers, L'Oreal is looking at 10 per cent of its raw materials as part of its Sustainability Assessment Framework. A detailed understanding of its supply chain will help the company continue to reduce its impact on the environment. L'Oreal is trying to apply sustainable principles across its business starting from the product development stage. For example, it said 90 per cent of relevant plant species are assessed for their impact on biodiversity. In the year ahead it hopes to reduce carbon emissions by 2 per cent and reduce waste by 5 per cent. The company will also try to source all paper and board used in its packaging from forests that are managed in a sustainable fashion.